The study of the presence and flow of electric charge. Charges, currents, fields, potentials.

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Electric field screening for arbitrarily formed charge

if I have a not necessarily homogenous electric field of a charge distribution in an electrolyte and i want to find out what the electric field at some position in the electrolyte is. is there any ...
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2answers
127 views

potential energy of a dipole?

The very popular from of potential energy of the dipole is $-P.E$. But in the derivation of it, we have negelected the potential energy of the pair of charges constituting the dipole. will this not ...
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1k views

Dielectric with polar molecules

Suppose a dielectric slab contains polar molecules (which are not further polarisable). When placed in an electric field, (for simplicity, an uniform field), align themselves according to the field. ...
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1answer
1k views

Dipole moment induced in a spherical particle

Consider a spherical metal particle made out of gold. If there is an external charge somewhere near the gold particle, is there a way to calculate the resulting dipole moment that is induced by the ...
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8k views

Does current flow back to the source through earth?

We know that if Single Line to Fault occurs, then fault current flows to the earth. I want to know whether the current will return to the source or not. For the current to flow we need a closed path. ...
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2k views

What is the speed of electrical current in salt water?

I am wondering about a specific question regarding the speed at which an electrical current traverses through salt-water / saline. By this I do not mean the electron drift speed - I mean, at what ...
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2k views

why is a resistor frequency independent

I had a doubt that why is a resistor, frequency independent? Since, as frequency increases the movement of electrons increases so heat increases which causes change in resistance. So my question is ...
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1answer
288 views

Electrons drift velocity and capacitors

My friend said this to me and just want to make sure this is right " when we connect the a battery to a LED and the 2 poles are connected, electrons flow from the (-) to the (+) but with very low ...
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5answers
5k views

Why does lightning emit light?

What exactly is causing the electric discharge coming from the clouds to emit light while traveling through the air. I've read and thought about it a little but with my current knowledge I cant really ...
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2answers
442 views

scaling of motor power

For car engines, the cylinder volume is often associated with the engine power, which suggests scaling of the power as $L^3$ where L is the linear size. Consider a system consisting of a motor and its ...
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3answers
408 views

How much iron ware to make a Faraday cage

In a thunderstorm I was thinking the following: suppose I am rowing in a lake during a thunderstorm. How big a Faraday cage do I need to make to protect myself? If lightning strikes the cage, will it ...
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1answer
3k views

Fermi level alignment and electrochemical potential between two metals

I'm trying to get a more intuitive/physical grasp of the Fermi level, like I have of electric potential. I know that, for just a single piece of metal in equilibrium, you have to have the electric ...
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129 views

Taking length/area element when trying to find E.resistance

I am trying to find out which 'element to take' (and why), When trying to find the resistance of some material with non-uniform resistivity $\rho$. I'll give an example: Say we have a co-axial cable ...
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743 views

Electric power for current density

The electric power produced by a current $I\in\mathbb{R}^+$ and a voltage $V\in\mathbb{R}^+$ is $$ P = IV. $$ Now the current is given as an (alternating) current density ...
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3answers
138 views

Current flows which way? [closed]

Current flows through a resistor (with no direction since it is not a vector/can flow from any potential)? I thinks it is with no direction since it is not a vector. Is that right?
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3answers
3k views

Current Through a Circuit with an 8 Resistor Setup

The following is a question from a practice Physics GRE exam (found online at ETS's website). The circuit shown in the figure consists of eight resistors, each with resistance R, and a battery ...
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1answer
998 views

Question regarding Drift velocity in general?

The derivation of drift velocity in case of electrons is equivalent to the case of an charged ionic gas and therefore all the arguments also apply there. Now for an ideal "ionic" gas which interacts ...
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1answer
164 views

Clarification on the Seebeck Effect

Alright, I've been interested in the Seebeck effect lately, so I've been trying to learn it. From what I understand, this is measured with the Seebeck Coefficient, which gives you the $\mu\textrm{V}$ ...
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2answers
669 views

Potential difference with an inductor

As far as I know, the potential difference between two points is defined as the negative line integral of electric field between those 2 points: $$\Delta V=-\int d \ell\cdot\mathbf E$$ I also know ...
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2answers
439 views

Why do electrons drift in an ideal conductor, since there's no field?

Suppose a simple circuit with a DC voltage source and a resistor. The voltage of the source will be situated over the resistor. So the electric field (which is the gradient of the potential) will be ...
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0answers
11k views

Why do current and electrons flow in opposite directions? [duplicate]

In representing an electric circuit, we would draw the sense of the current from the positive to the negative pole and the electrons from the negative to the positive . But as I know electrons' motion ...
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0answers
53 views

Is it possible to generate usable electricity from the motion or magnetic field of the Earth? [duplicate]

Let me start by saying that my knowledge of physics is almost nil (only high school level and I pretty much forgot everything) so bear with me, if I am asking naive questions the answers of which may ...
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2answers
353 views

Battery and current confusion?

How exactly does a battery produce a current in the circuit connected across its ends? I dont want to know the chemical reactions in the battery core, but just the essence of it. I believe it doesn't ...
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2answers
124 views

Need an intermediate resistivity part/material

I need a part or material for a planned experiment (the experiment is similar to those described in my articles http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0066 and http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.1626 ). The problem is that ...
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1answer
1k views

Charging by induction (and grounding)?

The very familiar phenomenon of charging by induction includes bringing a charged object near an uncharged sphere to induce a separation of charges in it and then grounding the charge (same as the ...
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41 views

Experimental study of the Photoelectric effect [duplicate]

As I was reading about the experimental arrangement for photoelectric effect, I saw a diagram that puzzled my knowledge of electrodes. I found that in the experimental setup the cathode of the ...
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1answer
76 views

Electricity directly from heating a material [duplicate]

I am looking for some more information about how to obtain electricity from heat directly. This e.g. involves the Seebeck effect, as I have found it is called, where a material produces a voltage ...
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6answers
11k views

Is it possible to generate electricity using a water tower?

Is it possible to build a water tower that will provide enough pressure to run an electricity generator? A water pump can be used to send water up to the tower. The water pump can be powered by solar ...
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1answer
482 views

heat energy and resistance of an elctric circuit

Very often it is said that "heat is developed" in a resistance when there is an electric current in it. But as far as I know heat is defined as a form of energy being transferred due to difference in ...
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2answers
17k views

Why do two connected 1.5-volt batteries become a 3- volt battery?

Why two connected 1.5 volt battery become 3 volts? If one battery plus side is connect to minus side of another battery, there should be a current flow between them until no free charge move anymore, ...
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0answers
112 views

How to size an electromagnet

How can I size an electromagnet? For example if I would to attract a mass of $x$ kg what are the calculations that I must do to size the ferromagnetic core and of course the solenoid? And thus, how ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does a moving electric charge have nonuniform electric field lines?

The electric field of a stationary electron is uniform, radially symmetric with straight field lines. However, the electric field of a moving electron still has radial and straight field lines, but ...
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2answers
234 views

How does current flow in a irregularly shaped heterogeneous resistor?

The motivation for my question is understanding how electricity gets through your skin as opposed to running along it, and how the presence of things like water on the skin affect the relative ...
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5answers
1k views

Why are wires in simple circuits approximated as equipotentials?

I just answered this question: Voltage in a circuit by asserting that any two points joined only by a wire, but no other circuit elements, are at the same value of the electric potential. It is, of ...
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2answers
247 views

Voltage in a circuit

Suppose I have a following circuit: I do not understand, why the potential difference between the points $c$ and $d$ is equal to the potential difference between the points $b$ and $a$? That is, ...
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104 views

Electrical properties of molten gallium arsenide

I'm looking for the resistivity and magnetic permeability of molten gallium arsenide, but can only seem to find the values for the solid material at room temperature (e.g., Wikpedia). Not even ...
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4answers
2k views

What could magnetic monopoles do that electrically charged particles can't?

I understand the significance to physics, but what can a magnetic monopole be used for assuming we could free them from spin ice and put them to work? What would be a magnetic version of electricity? ...
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1answer
3k views

How are excess charges distributed over non-spherical conductors?

My textbook gives the following explanation on how excess charges are spread over conductors: The excess charge on an isolated conductor moves entirely to the conductor's surface. However, ...
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1answer
74 views

Would the empirical behavior of a simple circuit match my model of it?

I have a practical problem in E&M which has baffled me and and my electrician. The copper water pipes in my house are carrying a current of small potential (~1V) AC current. Here is my ...
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157 views

About electric current analogy

my teacher gave me this analogy to the electric current , the wire is like a pearl necklace where the pearls can move, the current or the movement of electrons is like putting your fingers between 2 ...
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1answer
56 views

Total current of two sources in series? [closed]

Here is a question that a friend asked me. He had to an experiment in school and do some calculations afterwards. Those calculations require maximal current that the DC source can produce. He has ...
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1answer
3k views

Does rubber insulate lightning more effectively than air?

Last week, an Ars Technica writer was struck by lightning. He says that the 911 operators were concerned about whether or not he was wearing shoes at the time, but he didn't think it would make much ...
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1answer
337 views

Power in hydraulic analogy

In hydraulic analogy one compares electrical circuits with water circuits. For the electric case the formula $P = U \cdot I$ for the electric power holds. The analogous formula for water flow would ...
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2answers
258 views

Street Light Interference Phenomenon [closed]

Is there a scientific approach that can explain the street light interference phenomenon? Everytime I walk past a Streetlight it turns off.
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24 views

Faraday Effect, Satellites, and Electromagnetic Atmosphere [duplicate]

If I launched a Satellite into orbit and dropped a silver wire caged in carbon fiber with aerodynamic wings (for support), would the Faraday effect of the wire traveling through earth's ...
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1answer
94 views

Lightning and Charge Displacement

There is something I don't really understand about flashes of lightning. When a flash occurs, how come electricity be transferred at the speed of light since electricity's displacement is very slow ? ...
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1answer
177 views

Current in AC circuit

The problem is to find the current on the capacitor. $I''$ should be correct, but I don't know how to construct the formula for $I'$. I managed to get the value for $I_c$ using Thevenin and Norton ...
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2answers
19k views

What happens when non-equal voltages are put in parallel? [duplicate]

If two batteries, say 2 volts and 5 volts, are connected in parallel, are there any problems? The higher voltage will then want to flow out, but also towards the lower 2 volt battery end, right?
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1answer
891 views

Why should a battery not give current in order to measure EMF?

Emf is the "potential difference (PD) across the terminals of a battery when it is giving no current to the circuit." What does "when it is giving no current mean"? Will the PD across the terminals ...
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1answer
154 views

Help Understanding Non-conservative Fields

While watching a video lecture, I became uncomfortable with the results, (around 35 mins). The professor draws an electric circuit with a 1V batter, and two resistors (1 and 9 ohms). He then ...